About the Center
The Richard G. Lugar Center brings together researchers from different disciplines to promote research excellence in renewable energy. The efforts of the center requires collaboration from not only within the university, but through industry and community partnerships. Students perform much of the work and are frequently awardees and winners in various competitions.
- A capstone design team in Mechanical Engineering pursued an unconventional project and is now one of 12 finalists in a national competition. A five student team entered the RASC-AL competition (Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage) on the topic of harvesting water from permanently-shadowed craters on the lunar north and south poles. The competition is managed by the National Institute of Aerospace on behalf of NASA, now in its second year. The IUPUI student team developed a complete system for extracting buried water ice and converting it to liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen needed for fuel cells, rocket propellant, and for life support. After two rounds of down selection, the ME 462 team will travel to Cocoa Beach in June for the finals. This work builds upon space-related energy research conducted at the Richard G. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy under the supervision of Director Peter Schubert. The student team is led by Steve Zusack, co-founder of SEDS@IUPUI (our “rocket club”) and 3-time NASA intern, together with Nathan McDaniel, Raveena Patil, Chanel Johnson, and Sean Lachenman (not pictured).
2nd Place - International Compeition
- Energy Engineering and Computer Graphics Technology students captured second place and a $6,000 purse at the International SunSat Design Competition for their video and technical abstract “Pathway to Power”. The finals were held at the 35th annual International Space Development Conference held in San Juan, Puerto Rico May 18-22. Representing IUPUI and mentored by the Lugar Center for Renewable Energy the team described a step-wise path by which wireless power transfer can solve today’s energy challenges on earth. This can lead to a future with solar power satellites beaming clean, renewable, baseload power to every nation on earth. From the EEN program came team leader Javier Tandazo, with Alexander Carter, Curtis Waggoner, and John Guggenheim. From CGT came Ethan Wong with support from (not pictured) Andrew Barnthouse, Garrett Ruble and several other classmates. Their final video is available on Youtube at (https://youtu.be/XvlfdnSPZJQ). The team was honored at the National Space Society’s (www.nss.org) Gala Dinner the last night of the conference, a black-tie affair at which the 8-minute video was presented to leaders in the aerospace community. Space solar power is an area of active research at the Lugar Center for Renewable Energy with a dozen students continuing this excellent work during summer 2016.